Ancestor Bio – Bertha Koch (1862-1927)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-52
Darling-Huber-Trumpi-Koch
By Don Taylor

Bertha Koch is the mother of Bertha Barbara Trumpi[i] who was an immigrant ancestor. Bertha Barbara came to the United States first; then her mother went to the States to visit her.  Mom went back and forth from Switzerland to the United States several times. Eventually, she apparently divorced her husband, Bernhart Trumpi, married Kaspar Hefti, and then returned to the United States with her new husband.

Darling Research 2018 – Ancestor #31

List of Grandparents

Grandmother: Florence Wilma Huber Darling (1908-1934)
1st Great- Grandmother: Bertha Barbara Trumpi Huber (1884-1968)
2nd Great- Grandmother: Bertha Koch[ii] (1862-1927)

Bertha Koch (1862-1927)

Birth

Bertha Koch was (probably) born 21 August 1862 in Glarus, Switzerland. Her parents’ names are unknown. When Bertha was born, the Civil War was raging in the United States.  The Swiss had adopted a federal constitution in 1848 following its civil war.

Childhood

Swiss home interior from a display at the Swiss Historical Village & Museum in New Glarus, Wisconsin.

Nothing is known of Bertha’s childhood specifically; however, when Bertha was about 12, Switzerland underwent an extensive constitutional change wherein the Swiss federal government took over responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters and everything else became the responsibilities of the individual cantons, such as Glarus.[iii]

Marriage

On 10 February 1883, the 20-year-old Bertha married the 39-year-old widower, Bernhart Trumpi in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.

Children of Bernhart & Bertha (Koch) Trümpi.

NAME BORN MARRIED DEATH
Bertha Barbara 1884 1905 – John Huber 1968
Babetta 1888 1906 – Wilhelm Bochs 1970
Tricela (?) c. 1894 Unknown
Freida A 1895 1913 – Adolph Karch 1971
August c. 1902 Unknown
Frederick c. 1903 Unknown
Ernst Lorrain 1905 1967

Stories

In 1903, Bertha’s oldest daughter, Bertha Barbara, left Switzerland for the United States. Oral tradition indicates she came to America in the care of an aunt and uncle who traveled from America to get Bertha Barbara and return to the States.

In 1905, Bertha went to the States to visit her daughter, Bertha Barbara, who was living near New Glarus, Wisconsin. Traveling with her were three children, daughters Babetta, Trucela, and her son August. She was very pregnant during the trip and had her youngest child Ernst Lorrain aboard the ship to America during the voyage aboard the S. S. Lorraine. Her youngest child’s middle name was fashioned on the ship he was born. The vessel departed La Have on October 21st.  Ernst was born on the 22nd of October, and the ship arrived in New York on 28th of October 1912[iv].

Image of the SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria
SS Kaiserin Auguste Victoria

The next bit of her life is very unclear.  It appears that she returned to Switzerland before 1910 because she does not show in any records during that time.  Also, by 1912, Bertha had remarried to Kaspar Hafti. The documents I have found indicate that her husband Bernhart died on 10 February 1913. We don’t know if she and Bernhart divorced, if the date I have for Bernhart’s death is incorrect, or if she and Kaspar headed to the states traveling as “man and wife.”  In any event, she, husband Kaspar, and son Ernst Trumpi returned to the United States aboard the S. S. Kaiserin Augusta Victoria in 1912[v]. Their planned destination was Portland, Oregon. I have been unsuccessful in finding Kaspar and Bertha in the 1920 Census. I suspect they returned to Switzerland because they returned to the States from Switzerland in 1925 and were listed in the ship’s manifest with their last residence being in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.[vi]

Death & Burial

Bertha and Kaspar located in Escalon, San Joaquin, California, USA. Bertha died of cerebral apoplexy[vii] on 17 Apr 1927 at the San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, San Joaquin County, California[viii] about 17 miles from Escalon. Bertha was buried at a “Rural Cemetery.”  I have been unable to locate any burial information for Bertha Koch Trumpi Hefti.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Query various funeral homes in French Camp to see if any of them now have the records of what once was the Stockton Mortuary Company.
  • Follow the lives of each of Bertha’s children and learn if any of them provide insight into Bertha’s life.
  • Query more records for the Trumpi and Koch families of Ennenda, Glaris, Switzerland.

Endnotes

[i] I use Trumpi as the surname for standardization. Handwritten records in the United States typically use Trümpi. In Switzerland, the surname was typically spelled Trümpy. The use of American typewriters resulted in most modern records being spelled “Trumpi.”

[ii] Several records indicate Bertha’s surname was Kock. However, Babette indicated her mother’s surname was “Cook” in one record. The German word“Koch” translates to Cook in English, so I believe Koch is correct.

[iii] Internet: Wikipedia – “History of Switzerland.” Accessed 20 December 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Switzerland.

[iv] Year: 1905; Arrival: Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll: T715_636; Line: 4; List number:. Name:  Retha Trumpi  Birth:  abt 1863.

[v] Ancestry.com, Swiss Overseas Emigration, 1910-1953 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008), Ancestry. Accessed 27 Aug 2014.

[vi] Ancestry.com, Swiss Overseas Emigration, 1910-1953 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008), Ancestry, Bertha Hafti – 1925. Accessed 19 Dec 2018.

[vii] The term formerly referred to what is now called a “stroke.”

[viii] ”California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994,” database with images, FamilySearch — California State Archives, Sacramento. Accessed 19 December 2018.

 

Family Search’s “Watch” & Barbara Bertha Trumpi

Darling/Huber/Trümpi

Family Search Watch

Family Search is one of my favorite genealogical websites. They have many great features, but one of my favorites is their “Watch” function. It is simple but really powerful.

Click “Watch”.

Family Search uses a universal tree. That is to say, everyone with a FamilySearch account sees the same tree (except for living individuals you created). Some people don’t like that feature because it means you do not have complete control over your tree. But once you have a person in the tree, you can watch that individual and be informed of any changes that occur with that person.  Those changes can provide import clues for your own research and can suggest contacts clearly interested in the same individuals as you are.

One of my problem research areas has been my wife’s great-grandmother Bertha Barbara (Trümpi) Huber and her parents [Bernhard and Bertha (Koch) Trümpi]. Little more than their names were in the tree when I began watching each of them. Over the past few months, another researcher has added several children to the couple that I didn’t know about, a second wife, who I knew about but didn’t have a name for, and Bernhard’s parents’ names. Wow!

Now, I don’t accept that new information at face value; but I consider it as clues to other facts, which I can investigate. In this case, the researcher suggested four new siblings for Bertha:

  • New Brother: Heinrich (1886-1914)  Potential –
  • New Sister: Barbara (1888-____)    Probably a mistake (same name as Bertha Barbara)
  • New Brother: Bernhard (1891-1961) Potential.
  • New Sister: Emma (1901-1901) Potential.

The entries also confirmed information I have about Bertha, Frieda, August, and Ernst.

It also suggested a first wife for Bertha’s father, Bernhard was Regula Stüssi and seven children for Bernhard and Regula. Following the Family Search additions, it seems that

Bernhard Trümpi married Regula Staüsi in 1867. They had seven children, four of whom died as infants. Regula died in 1882 and Bernhard married Bertha Koch in 1883. Although Regula was only two years younger than Bernhard, Bertha was 19 years younger. Now the family oral history which said that Bertha Barbara came from a large family makes sense. I had her with six siblings, with the addition of new family members she may have had 15 siblings, 11 of which live to adulthood. That would be a large family.

Finally, the researcher suggested that Bernhard’s father was Bernard and his mother was Anna Maria Oertli. That knowledge opens an entirely new avenue of research.

That which I thought was a brick wall now has many new holes for me to pick at and find a way through. Thanks to the “Watch” feature of Family Search I circle around and have a new direction for my research. If you aren’t using the Family Search “Watch” feature, I highly recommend you do so.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 40

Grand Theatre, Great Falls, Montana

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at clipping DSCN1449 from the Donna Darling Collection.

Thanks to Newspapers.Com, I have long known that Donna played at the Grand Theatre in Great Falls Montana, November 26th & 27th, 1926. I hadn’t realized what a big deal it had to have been as Donna, Sammy, and Princess Winona stopping in Great Falls. The newspaper had nice photos and a long article in the newspaper of the troop.  It was a rare use of her “Donna Darling playing the Balalaika” photo. Such a large article is rare for a short, two-day show.

Five Big Acts of Vaudeville Open Tonight

Princess Winona, Donna Darling and Sammy Clark of the Donna Darling Revue, headliner on the Extra vaudeville at the Grand tonight and tomorrow night.

Circumstances have made it pos­sible for Manager Will Steege of the Grand to present an additional bill of five acts of vaudeville there to­night and tomorrow night, with the usual two shows, at 7 and 9 o’clock. The acts are here on a long jump on the way to open another Association vaudeville circuit.

The feature act is the Donna Darling revue, with Sammy Clark. Miss Darling won the Madison Square Garden beauty contest a few years ago and was afterwards featured in “Chin Chin” and also with George White and Flo Ziegfeld. With Sammy Clark, “The Juvenile Komik,” Barring and Lazur and Hal Dixon, she presents a routine of songs and dances, garnished with comedy. The beauty of the act is enhanced by special stage settings and exceptional costumes. 

Photo of Donna Darling with Balalaika
Donna Darling with Balalaika

Zuhn and Dreis, two of the most effective epithet throwers in the varieties, are appropriately charac­terized as “Dement’s Americanos.” Originality is one of their gifts, and the ability to use entertaining slang is not the least of their skill.

Billy Curtis, vaudeville author and songwriter, has a skit where laugh provoking lines and tuneful music predominate. Lou Lawrence is his partner in the entertainment. “Is that the Custom?” is the name of the act, which was written by Curtis. Miss Eva Tanguay and the late Bert Williams employed Curtis as a special composer. Clever as his accomplishments were then, no doubt he gave even better effort in the writing of his own act.

Ever on the alert for novelties, Morrell and Elynore, and up-to-date couple, are on the bill for the Charleston on roller skates. They also introduce singing and comedy talk and have a sackful of variety for their program.

Appearing in Indian costume, Princess Winona sings modern Indian songs. She has a soprano voice that is sweet and well modu­lated. A good voice and a pleasing personality contribute to Princess Winona’s success. Her act also appeals because of its being a bit different than the ordinary vaudeville presentation.

Manager Steege is quite elated over the feature picture which opens the bill, “Rolling Home,’ the star being no less than the popular Reginald Denny.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Grand Theatre, Great Falls, Montana
    • The show is the “Danna Darling Revue, with Sammy Clark” staring Donna Darling and Sammy Clark along with Barring and Lazur and Hal Dixon
  • Also on the bill
    • Zuhn & Dreis – “Dement’s Americanos”
    • Billy Curtis & Lou Lawrence
    • Morrell and Elynore
    • Princess Winona

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – DSCM1449

Donna in the News – 21 April 1922

Famous Musical Comedy Star Now Playing at the Feeley

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I discover a new photo of my grandmother during her exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

This week: The Standard Sentinel (Hazleton, PA) newspaper dated 21 April 1922

“Beautiful Miss Donna Darling, who appeared here two seasons ago in “Chin Chin,” is presenting an elaborate Song and Dance spectacle at the Feeley in the Current Bill.”[i]

I knew Donna played at the Feeley Theatre April 20, 1922, from her scrapbook collection. However, this newly discovered series of 11 articles provide clear start and end dates for her show, as well as what else was playing when she played.


Endnotes

[i] Standard-Sentinel (Hazleton, Pennsylvania) · Fri, Apr 21, 1922 · Page 5 – Accessed from Newspapers.Com on Dec 8, 2018 (https://www.newspapers.com/image/500362601.)

The Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church

Howell/Hobbs/Long

As so often occurs, I get behind. Last summer I received an email from Carrie MC about the Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church. She had fresh information about the church’s status and some photos of the building that I haven’t had a chance to review, catalog, and incorporate into my genealogical files until now.  I had mentioned the church in my biographical sketch of Annie Deborah Long Hobbs, which she read. Then she contacted me as a person interested in Hamilton history and the Long family. My wife’s great-grandmother Annie Long was probably a church member when the church was built about 1888 and Annie remained friends with the people there even after she and her husband, James Ashley Hobbs, moved 13 miles away to Williamston.

Annie’s brother, Dr. Benjamin Long, built a house in Hamilton about 1885 and the church was built next to it, on Dr. Long’s property, about 1888, on Long Street. After the minister of the church died in 1913, Dr. Edgar Long (Dr. Benjamin Long’s son) sold the church to the Hamilton Colored Disciples. In 1939, the building was moved a few blocks away to South Street.[i]

Hamilton (NC) Primitive Baptist Church – Photo by Carrie MC

In 2004, Isabel Bernfeld of Hamilton purchased the church with the hope to restore the building.[ii] She apparently did some work. After her death, the building was purchased in 2016 by Carrie MC. Carrie hopes to return the church to its original location and hopes to restore the building. She and I have been in contact and she has let me know about some of the work that has been done including major tree trimming to reduce the risk of tree damage. She also sent a few photos of the church.[iii] The original louvered tower has been replaced with a tower with two louvered panels on each side instead of the original three louvers panels on each side.

It is so nice to see historic buildings restored. These old buildings are often places that had significant importance to our ancestors. They are just so precious to our history.

Finally, I’d like to mention, there is an interesting blog, “Generations Ago Blog” written by Dan Leigh, who is a 3rd cousin to Mary-Alice (Grandson of Edgar Miller Long). His article, “A Doctor in the Family”, is a beautiful description of his family line and what he learned at the Martin County Historical Society and about country doctors during the early 20th century.


Endnotes:

[i] Boykin, Jacqueline R. 2006. Martin County’s historic churches: National Register and National Historic District churches. Williamston, N.C.: Martin County Historical Society. 
[ii] Ibid.
[iii] Email correspondence between Carrie MC and Don Taylor 30 July 2018. [Don’s files – Hamilton Primitive Baptist Church.